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Ariane Lipski joined ATT because ‘Brazil has no wrestling,’ finally feels comfortable to showcase striking in UFC

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Ariane Lipski's only stoppage win in the UFC came with a vicious kneebar over Luana Carolina.
Zuffa LLC, Getty Images

Ariane Lipski has completely changed her life to unleash the “Queen of Violence” inside the octagon.

The former KSW flyweight champion had a ton of hype around her when she was signed by the UFC in 2018, but a 2-3 run in the company with only one stoppage victory felt a little dissatisfying. With a new home in American Top Team, Lipski finally feels ready to add more knockouts to her record.

“Renato [Rasta, head coach and husband] spoke with me a few times before and we tried to move to the United States twice because we knew Brazil has no wrestling,” Lipski said in an interview with MMA Fighting, “I needed other training partners that knew wrestling to help me in training.”

Lipski trained in her own gym in Brazil for her most recent UFC wins, a couple of wins over Isabela de Padua and Luana Carolina, but decided not to return to her home country after a loss to Antonina Shevchenko this past November. Instead, Lipski flew to Florida to meet her managers of First Round Management and join American Top Team.

“We visited the gym and liked the atmosphere, I saw they had many girls training together, mainly in my division, and that’s what we wanted,” Lipski said. “That’s why we decided to stay here. Florida is our home now [laughs].”

“Queen of Violence” returns to the eight-sided cage on June 5 to battle Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 28, the perfect opportunity to showcase her evolution in the wrestling department — especially with two-time NCAA national champion and two-time Olympian Steve Mocco as her wrestling trainer.

“I was put in difficult situations in my first training there,” Lipski said. “I didn’t need to wait for a fight to see where my mistakes were. I could see the in training already, and that’s why my evolution was fast. Worked hard in training, got home, and Renato showed where my mistakes were and what I should do instead, and then I would apply in training the next day.

“I had many girls, each one with their own style, putting me in different situations and forcing me to adapt. The evolution was constant because we were working on it every day. … I didn’t have to wait for a fight to be caught surprised in any situation.”

Lipski feels her defensive wrestling has evolved “100 percent” after months under the American Top Team roof because “we were practicing it every day, we always had someone trying to take me down every single day from many different angles and positions, and you have to adapt.”

“There’s no point knowing a position if you don’t practice it,” she said. “It has to me automatic in the fight, you can’t overthink it. Your body must simply react, and that’s the main difference with my defensive wrestling now, my reaction time.”

Lipski expects De La Rosa to shoot for takedowns at UFC Vegas 28. The 26-year-old holds a MMA record of 11-6-1 with eight submissions to her credit, and Lipski is “very happy with this fight because I can show how much I’ve evolved with my grappling for MMA.”

“But what I really want to show in this fight is my striking,” Lipski said. “We came here for the wrestling and grappling but not to show it in the fight, but so I can feel more comfortable to showcase my striking and not be too apprehensive about throwing kicks fearing to be taken down. It’s quite the opposite, so I can feel comfortable in any situation knowing I can show my striking.”

De La Rosa faces her third Brazilian opponent in a row after a loss to Viviane Araujo and a draw against Mayra Bueno Silva. Lipski, who tapped Carolina with a brutal kneebar back in July 2020 on Fight Island, how’s to “go for the knockout from start to finish.”

“I want my first knockout win in the UFC,” Lipski said. “I want to show my style, but the main thing is not being too flustered. I want to enjoy the fight, I want to show I’m ready for any situation, and the knockout will come naturally.”